November 16, 2022
CWB Welding Foundation would like to congratulate the award recipients of the 2022 Nicole LeClair Welding Bursary Award. We wish you all the best in your future endeavours in welding.
Read on to see what Nicole LeClair has to say about each of these amazing recipients!
Sydney impressed me so much! The list of volunteer work and extracurricular activities is honestly endless. I can’t list them all but among some of those that stand out to me was that she was the captain of the girl’s soccer team, in show band, on the student council and the best buddies program. Simultaneously, she kept her marks at the honour roll level. As if this didn’t take up enough of Sydney’s time, she also decided to start her own little amazing project called Hope’s Hugs. She makes and gives hug blankets to anyone in need for free and has given out more than 2,000 blankets thus far. Check out her Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/hopehugsinc/
She had planned to pursue her journey toward social services until she tried welding for the first time in grade nine. By grade 11, she was hooked and was invited to a Women in Welding seminar, which cemented her decision as to what she wanted to pursue. One day she hopes to be a welding inspector and run her charity on the side. She is currently doing a manufacturing co-op at Albuma Manufacturing Ltd, where she is learning to TIG and MIG weld, operate a brake, use a mill, read blueprints, program a C&C cutter and clean and prep metal and assemblies. I think what I love most about Sydney’s objectives is that she not only wants to be a leader in welding but also a leader in her community. Hats off to you, Sydney, and I wish you all the best as you pursue your welding dreams at Conestoga College this fall.
Owen is entering his second year at Fleming College in Peterborough, Ontario and loving it. This wasn’t the first time Owen picked up a torch, though. He first started welding in high school and later got a job at a local welding shop, where he could hone his craft a little further. Wanting to know even more about the trade and dive even deeper, he chose to enroll in the Welding and Fabricating Technician course at Fleming College. He says he might even continue after this school year is over by taking yet another course. I applaud that initiative, as in this trade, being a lifelong learner is key to staying on top of technology and all other aspects of welding and metallurgy. He holds a soft spot in his heart for his 1982 Pontiac Grand Prix, his dog Robbie and of course, his parents and grandparents, to whom he is very grateful for and accredits much of his success to their support. Good luck in your school year, Owen! Something tells me that you’re bound for success, and I can’t wait to hear all about your future achievements.
Once Josh was able to try welding for the first time, he recognized that not only could he create practical things for himself, but also to use those skills to secure a well-paying job and ultimately, a career! Thanks to manufacturing technology courses at his high school, he was able to learn just how much he loved welding. His dad supported his passion and purchased a welder for their home where Josh could further hone his skills. Bringing us to the present, he’s now enrolled in the Welding and Fabrication Technician program at Conestoga College!
It should also be mentioned that Josh had the opportunity to attend a high school co-op at a local welding and fabrication company. There, he learned pertinent skills such as layout, metal cutting and painting preparation. Currently, he works under the supervision of a licensed mechanic as an automotive technician assistant, which is great for Josh as it helps him with his hobby of working on his own vehicle. He’s also had a part-time job working in the HVAC industry, too. This tells me that the trades are in his blood, and I’m happy to help him pursue welding at the post-secondary level. Welding is such a transferrable skill, as all the other trades I mentioned also have a welding component to them. Congratulations, Josh! I wish you a wonderful first year at Conestoga College.
Nick is attending the Underwater Welding Skills Program through Seneca College. How exciting is that? In February of 2020, he completed a welding course at Canadian Welding Skills Inc. in Ennismore, Ontario and is now using those skills to take welding to another level – quite literally! Nick was telling me that he’d fallen in love with welding right from the beginning and even bought his own welding equipment to practice his skills at home. Since graduating from his first program, he has been employed as a welder fitter and is constantly pushing himself and challenging his abilities to improve his welding skills, which is commendable. I always say that when your learning curve reaches a plateau, then it’s time to challenge yourself. Good luck to you, Nick, as you pursue this next phase of your welding career where you can merge your love of welding with your love of scuba diving!